When we launched Red’s True BBQ in Sept last year, we knew we’d be breaking new ground for the Leeds (and UK) dining market. After working in the US market for about 7 years, we’ve done our fair share of research into this unique style of food prep. ”Low ‘n Slow BBQ” is exactly that, low temperature and a slow pace with the addition of sweet smoke. We take huge cuts of meat such as brisket and pork shoulder (and smaller for that matter) and cook them in our custom made Oklahoman smokers for anything between 15 and 21 hours. Our beef and pork ribs take up to 8 hours to cook. We are a very busy restaurant, so our smokers are at full capacity at all times (unless they’re being cleaned).
Our BBQ Pilgrimage 2012 began with four of us flying from Manchester (bumped into the Leelex boys on their way to Mexico City for their “research” trip to enhance their new project at Trinity) via Philly to Raleigh, North Carolina, the first of 5 states this time round. We had a slight pause in Philadelphia so what better to do than try the famous Philly Cheese Steak at Chickie and Pete’s. The bread was soft and the meat had the right texture (not sure it’s for everyone though, most Brits might not totally get it), although we agreed it could have benefitted from the addition of onions and peppers and a bit more cheese sauce it was proper tasty. Crab fries were interesting though. When we asked (in a rather dopey fashion), they informed us that it’s not actually crab, more the seasoning they use on the crabs in their region, but put on fries. Gullible isn’t the word!
After a quick, turbulent flight (in what felt like a 1920’s prop plane) we landed in Raleigh, the home of whole hog BBQ. JD loves cars and as soon as we saw the pre-booked Rav 4 mid-sized SUV at the car rental spot we knew there would be an issue, we asked the Hertz lady to find us something that would be more appropriate for this type of road trip and so JD wouldn’t complain. In true Red’s style, we agreed a pimping Escalade with some serious rims would be a much better choice. Screw the extra $35 a day! We jumped in and screeched away thinking we were rolling hard, only to realize that the hand break was still on. As JD was driving, we blame this squarely on him – Numpty!
So, we’re into our 4th week now at Reds and to say we’ve been busy doesn’t come close!!
First of all we want to thank you all for your custom so far, without you none of this would be possible. Your response to our opening has completely blown our minds, we hoped it would be popular but we could never have realised just how much. Although service wasn’t as good as we’d hoped in the first week we now have 3 times the staff levels we started with and we operate our kitchen 24 hours a day to ensure that your waiting times for food are as short as possible, on really busy nights there can be a short wait but we are constantly working on things to get it right every time
We also want to address the issue of bookings and queues at Reds.
Red’s is a ‘fast-casual’ restaurant. This means ‘no-reservations’ – first-come-first-served.
This is a growing trend, but it can lead to lengthy queues. Advocates say that this is the fairest way, but it can be a pain for groups who would occupy more than a single table (8+).
We want it to be as simple as possible to walk in and eat, but naturally, we also want to keep our groups happy.